10 THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE NEW R. KELLY AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Robert Sylvester Kelly has written a book, everyone.
The creator of everyone’s favorite hip-hopera, oft-topless legend of 90s R&B and retired Star Wars-themed stripper (more on that later) invites you to take a trip to the theme park that is R. Kelly’s past. GIT ON THE SOULACOASTER, y’all.
Actually, here is the thing: you might not want to “git on the soulacoaster,” because Soulacoaster: The Diary of Me is 366 pages long. Which is too long. That is double the length of The Great Gatsby (and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kelly ain’t).
Because I love you, I have put together a summary of the ten most important things I’ve learned from this book so you can save yourself $29.95. Shall we?
1. R. KELLY LOVES METAPHORS
In case the pun/overarching metaphor of the title is too confusing, Kelly explains it in the very first lines of the book: “Since the day of my birth, I feel like my soul has been on some kind of rollercoaster—with all of the ups and downs, twists and turns, laughing and screaming, smiling and crying. Sometimes I ask myself, When will this ride stop? Or will it ever stop?”
His song “You Remind Me of Something” got a lot of criticism for its comparison of women to cars and other objects. In response, Kelly writes: “The song is a compliment to women, not an insult. We fellas love our jeeps.”
2. R. KELLY LOVES MCDONALD’S
And if you’re a super-fan and want to notch up a “celebrity sighting” of R. Kelly in one of his jeeps, head to your nearest McDonald’s. He likes to go there:
a) After walking off late-night talk shows: “On the monitor, the announcer was saying, ‘Up Next, R. Kelly!’ No. R. Kelly was not up next. R. Kelly was outta there. R. Kelly was leaving, getting in his car and going to McDonald’s.”
b) After the Best of Both Worlds tour with Jay-Z went to shit:“I became so frustrated that I left the stage during a show in St. Louis and went to the place that gives me comfort in times of trouble – McDonald’s. But this time, I didn’t go to eat. Instead I asked the guy working the drive thru window if I could borrow his cap and uniform, and for the next three hours, I served Big Macs, fries, and Cokes to customers.”
c) After being found not guilty on 12 counts of sexy pee-time with a minor:“’Where do you want to go now?’ my crew asked. ‘McDonald’s,’ I said. ‘I’ve gotta get a double cheeseburger and fries.’”
3. R. KELLY HAS PROPHETIC DREAMS
“When I was about nine years old, I had a strange dream. I was in a house where everything was white—walls, floors, ceiling, carpet, bricks on the fireplace, curtains at the windows. I saw myself seated at a white piano and playing a song.”
The song he’s playing in the John Lennon “Imagine” video/dream is interrupted by someone knocking on the door and giggling, then running away. When Kells finally catches them, it’s a bunch of cartoon characters. “Hey! Who are you guys?” he asks. “We’re your biggest hit song,” the CHARACTERS OF THE YET-TO-BE-MADE-1996-CLASSIC SPACE JAM respond.
Years later, when he started writing “I Believe I Can Fly,” he realized it was the song from his nine-year-old dream vision. Did you know it only took him three hours to write? “Believe it or not.” Kelly doesn’t take credit though: “Because the tune first came to me as a child, I really do believe God actually wrote that song.”